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“My shape is getting better. After my illness in Catalunya it’s a matter of getting back into shape before the Ardennes Classics and finding the rhythm."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo

RAFAL MAJKA

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VUELTA CICLISTA AL PAIS VASCO

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07.04.2015 @ 20:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo tried to save as much energy as possible during the undulating stage 2 of Vuelta al País Vasco. Despite six categorized climbs, the stage ended in a bunch sprint won by Fabio Felline, with seven Tinkoff-Saxo riders, including Rafal Majka, finishing in the main pack. Majka, rebounding from illness at Volta a Catalunya, looks forward to the mountainous ordeals to come.
 
After the stage finish, Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Patxi Vila tells that the day was about saving the legs and protecting Majka in the fast downhill finale.
 
“Early on the stage, we faced a pretty steep first category climb followed by five easier climbs. The guys stayed well positioned and we had seven of our riders finishing in the main pack. The guys did a good job in shielding Majka from the wind and making sure that he stayed safe on the last downhill section down towards the line”, says Patxi Vila, who adds that Tinkoff-Saxo’s stint at the front on the final climb was a matter of positioning:
 
“Poljanski with Majka on his wheel pulled at the front of the pack on the last stretch of the climb, as we knew that the descent would be fast and challenging and we wanted to make sure that we took our precautions in the case of any gaps and splits. Ultimately, it didn’t happen at the stage was decided in a sprint, where we kept off the front, since we don’t have a sprinter here”.

Stage 2 of Vuelta al País Vasco presented the riders with 175km of racing from Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz. Early on the stage, what would eventually develop into a three-man break rode away from the pack in an effort to capture the day. However, over the top of the last climb, the breakaway was swallowed up and the main bunch readied itself for a fast sprint. Here, Fabio Felline (Trek Factory) secured the top spot ahead of yesterday’s winner Michael Matthews (Orica – GreenEdge).
 
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rafal Majka finished the stage with a positive feeling of progress after having suffered from a stomach influenza in Volta a Catalunya.
 
“My shape is getting better. After my illness in Catalunya it’s a matter of getting back into shape before the Ardennes Classics and finding the rhythm. My shape is perhaps not as strong as last year at this period of the season, but for me the most important is to work hard and recover well. I have more power in the legs now than during Paris-Nice, also after I managed to get a week of recovery after Catalunya”, comments Rafal Majka, who has his eyes latched on the possibilities during the next tough stages in País Vasco.
 
“Today, the guys did a great job and worked hard to make sure that I wasn’t exposed to the wind. This means that I could save some energy for the stages to come. For sure, we need to do a good job and follow the best and then we will see what happens. There are also other guys on the team, who are strong. I think that Pawel Poljanski is doing well and we will try to catch a stage win or do a good result in the GC. We will see after tomorrow’s stage”, concludes Rafal Majka.

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